Australia’s Energy Transition: An overview
Australia is a major energy powerhouse that exports energy to the rest of the world, yet we have a difficult energy transition to net zero emissions ahead of us, given our unique geography, climate, widely dispersed populations and federal political structure.
While the energy transition to non-fossil and renewable sources is already occurring across Australia, there is currently no coordinated and holistic picture of the research underway to support a successful energy transition. Nor is there an independent and authoritative statement of current research gaps and priorities. In addition, while international energy transition research is progressing strongly, Australia cannot rely solely on this international research to support its own transition. Australia must continue to build its own research capabilities to find local solutions and strategies to solve local problems. Our unique energy environment will give rise to distinct energy transition research considerations over the coming decade.
As a response to these issues, in late 2019, ACOLA commenced discussions with the Australian energy sector on the need for an Australian Energy Transition Research Plan (the Research Plan). In mid-2020, this work officially commenced following strong stakeholder support, and in late 2020 ACOLA secured several funding partners to support the delivery of this project.